Friday, 17 February 2017

17 February 2017

The Infants at Beech House had lots of fun in the run-up to half term with their Arts Week! Pupils celebrated their achievements in music, art and dance and were able to try lots of new things, from African drumming to Inuit clay sculptures to Gum Boot dancing.

The Junior Girls collected a rainbow of coins for charity! The girls showed their support for Ethiopia-based charity Rainbows4Children by coming into school wearing rainbow colours and giving a £1 donation. The money was then laid out into a spectacular 'rainbow' on the playground, with an estimated £800 raised in total!

Boys' Division pupils in Year 11 learned more about the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme and how they could get involved at Bolton Lads and Girls Club. During their visit they got to try a host of fun activities while also finding out how NCS could help them to assist their local community, make new friends and build on existing skills and develop new ones.

Thirteen Girls' Division pupils have been selected for the U13 Lancashire Lacrosse squad, including one Junior Girls' School pupil! The girls made it onto the A and B squads and will go on to play at the Northern Counties tournament.

Children at the Nursery celebrated Valentine's Day with baking and crafts, and by dressing in their best red and pink outfits for the day!

Girls' Division pupils Elly and Lucy won eight gold and silver medals between them at the Lancashire County Swimming Championships! Year 7 pupil Lucy came away with three gold and two silver medals, while Year 8 pupil Elly won two gold medals and one silver.

Year 8 pupils learned more about the vital work that guide dogs perform for Toni Forrest and her labrador retriever guide dog. Toni explained about the difference a guide dog makes for someone who is blind and how a person is matched up with their dog.

The Junior Girls enjoyed a day filled with Russian fun on the annual Modern Foreign Languages Day, which this year was themed around Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird. Pupils and staff from the Boys' Division helped out with the activities and the girls were able to find out more about the Russian language and culture.

Girls' Division pupils represented Bolton Town at the recent Greater Manchester Cross Country Championships. The four pupils were selected for the Bolton Town team after competing well in the Bolton Schools' Championships in October.

At the end of the half term, Mrs Kathryn Critchley and Mrs Maureen Drinkwater retired after having spent almost sixty years at Bolton School between them! Mrs Critchley, who joined the School in 1974, was able to recall teaching some of the current pupils' mothers and aunts. Both were showered with gifts, including Hesketh House bears and Port Sunlight roses and other personal gifts.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Girls Laura Moss, who attended the Girls' Division from 1994 to 2001. After leaving School she became a lawyer for a few years, but then quit her job and spent sixteen months cycling around the world! On her 13,000 mile trip, she visited twenty-seven countries and journeyed across Europe, the Middle East and Asia to Australia, before returning home across the USA. Following her life-changing experience, she founded and still directs the Cycle Touring Festival, encouraging others to make journeys by bicycle.

Friday, 10 February 2017

10 February 2017

Following the Inspection in December 2016, the Boys' Division has been officially awarded the top rating of "excellent" by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The new format report judged the pupils' academic and other achievements to be excellent, and the quality of personal development is also excellent.

Last week, pupils in Years 8 and 9 put on their student-devised promenade production of Wonder. The cast and crew delivered three nights of excellent and thought-provoking entertainment to appreciative audiences, who followed the story and the emotions as they travelled to various locations around School, from the Great Hall to 'summer camp' in the third-floor Studio Theatre!

The U18 and U15 Water Polo teams have begun an unprecedented attempt to defend their ESSA National titles for the third year running. The first leg of the competition for the U18s was held in the School's pool, while the U15 team played in Manchester. Both teams progressed to the National Finals with strong scores. The U13s will join their fellows in defending the third National title in May.

The Junior Girls' Music Festival allowed pupils in all four year groups to take part and showcase their talents over the course of two days. Parents, grandparents, pupils and staff enjoyed the wonderful music-making as the girls performed on a wide variety of instruments and impressed the adjudicators.

Local pupils in Year 5 are once again enjoying the SHINE: Serious Fun on Saturdays programme at Bolton School. These Gifted and Talented youngsters are challenged and inspired by these Saturday morning classes, led by Bolton School teachers and Sixth Form students, while also having fun over the course of eleven weeks.

The Girls' Division Senior swimming team tied for first place at the recent Bolton Schools' Swimming Championships!

On 27 February, Bolton School will host a free lecture from particle physicist Professor Jeff Forshaw. 'Universal: a guide to the cosmos' is based on his popular science book, written with Professor Brian Cox, and promises to be a fascinating and informative evening. The event is free and open to the public.

Bolton School is encouraging staff to join the Chartered College of Teaching to support this new professional body set up by teachers for teachers. The School is offering a contribution of more than 50% to all of its full- and part-time teachers who obtain first-year membership.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Professor Malcolm Stevens OBE, FRS who attended the Boys' Division from 1944 to 1957. He gained a PhD in Pharmacy from Nottingham University and went on to to conduct groundbreaking research into treatments for cancer. His profile recalls his fondest memories of his time at Bolton School and his inspirational teachers.

Friday, 3 February 2017

3 February 2017

Fourteen Bolton School Sixth Form students have received offers from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge this year. This is a wonderful achievement for all five girls and nine boys, and the School wishes them luck in achieving the grades needed to accept their offers.

High Sheriff of Greater Manchester the Lady Smith of Leigh, who is an Old Girl, returned to the Girls' Division to offer an entertaining address in morning assembly. She talked about the history of her role and her duties today, as well as briefly touching on her memories of attending Bolton School.

The Lady Smith also visited the Junior Girls' School, where she enthralled pupils with more fascinating historical information and held a lengthy question and answer session with the curious girls. They were delighted to see her symbolic sword and learn more about the High Sheriff's crest.

Bolton School has placed top of the government's latest league table of local schools and colleges by A level results. The Girls' Division leads the table when a school or college is measured by the average point score performance per student and the Boys' Division is number one in the league when measured by the percentage of students achieving AAB grades or higher in the facilitating subjects.

The Junior Boys' School held its annual Music Festival, with over 145 individual performances taking place over two days! Pupils, staff and parents alike enjoyed the wide-ranging music, which included classes in piano, guitar woodwind, brass, recorder, percussion, strings, vocal and ensembles.

Children at the Nursery and attending the Nursery Class for 3 and 4 year olds had fun in special ball skills session run by a Bolton Wanderers coach. The sessions were tailored to fit each age group, with the younger children simply getting used to the equipment and the older ones learning some moves through play.

Girls' Division alumni, Sixth Form and staff held an unwanted jewellery collection in support of Alzheimer's Society in the run-up to the Christmas holidays. A representative from the charity visited the School to collect over 350 donated pieces, which will raise an estimated £600!

A pair of Junior Boys and a pair of Junior Girls spent a day filming with the BBC's Terrific Scientific crew. They were investigating what trees do for us and measuring how much carbon is contained in trees across the campus. The film will eventually be uploaded on the Terrific Scientific website in March or April.

Students in Years 12 and 13 enjoyed a day of improving their modern foreign language skills at the annual French Conference. They discussed a number of topics relating to their A Level studies with native speaker Richard Peltier, making this a great opportunity to stretch themselves and improve both confidence and ability.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Frank Kenyon, who attended the Boys' Division from 1944 to 1952. After leaving Bolton School, he read Geography at Downing College, Cambridge, and completed his National Service in the Royal Artillery before becoming a teacher and ultimately headteacher.

Friday, 27 January 2017

27 January 2017

This week, Bolton School welcomed Scottish virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie for the latest in the Girls' Division's series of Arts and Sciences presentations which are open to the public. Dame Evelyn's fascinating talk was centered around questions from pupils and members of staff, and also included arresting percussion performances.

Girls' Division pupils in Years 8 and 9 had fun in two inspirational workshops with poet Mandy Coe. She helped the girls to start writing with varied prompts and also gave a number of readings throughout each session.

Boys' Division pupils helped to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in Bolton. The Violin Quartet opened Bolton's Civic Commemoration and played a second piece following the lighting of candles as part of the service.

Children in the Butterfly Room at Bolton School's Nursery recently went or a Nature Day at Haigh Hall. They explored different outdoor areas, including the woods and the walled gardens, and had a picnic lunch outside. Despite the chilly weather, a good time was had by all!

A large number of Junior Boys in Year 4 will have their work published in the poetry book Once Upon A Dream - Lancashire Verses following the Young Writers Poetry Competition.

Pupils enjoyed a lunchtime learning about life as a vet from Claire Sawyer, a Recognised Advanced Practitioner in Equine Surgery (Orthopaedics). She gave a great overview of the profession, from the qualifications required to the kind of work involved. This was the the latest in a series of Cafe Scientifique lunchtime lectures arranged for pupils.

Sixth Form pupils Hanna and Aaisha raised money for Penny Appeal's Refugee Emergency project by selling doughnuts at the Bonfire Night fireworks display at School, and the following Monday in the Riley Centre. They managed to raise over £250 in support of the charity!

Four Girls' Division pupils have been selected for the Junior North of England Lacrosse Squad following trials last weekend. Two will play in the A Squad, and two in the B Squad, and one girl had been named the A Squad captain! This is a great achieved for all four pupils.

At the Bolton Town Championships, Intermediate Boys' Swimming Team and Girls' Division Junior Swimming Team won their respective age group trophies.

Children across the Foundation have been celebrating Chinese New Year this week. Pupils in Year 4 at the Junior Boys' School delivered an assembly about Chinese New Year to the rest of the school.

Children at the Nursery celebrated Chinese New Year with a variety of activities. They also tried out various Chinese dishes, such as noodles and spring rolls, for their snacks and meals throughout the day. They made paper lanterns and had fun dressing up and playing as a Chinese dragon!

The Nursery Class for 3 and 4 year olds also got into the spirit of Chinese New Year with lots of crafts, making masks and dragon puppets. They even had a Chinese dragon to help them with their number learning on the whiteboard!

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Ian Jones, who after attending the Boys' Division from 1976 to 1982 went on to become a photographer. He is famous as a royal photographer and has taken pictures at "all the great state occasions". This pen portrait of his varied career and his many fond memories of Bolton School make for interesting reading, and he also offers good advice to the pupils of today.

Friday, 20 January 2017

20 January 2017

With the start of a new year, the Spring Term at Bolton School has begun and already there is lots going on across the Foundation.

Over the Christmas holidays, Year 13 pupil Arron Davies was away at the World Junior Water Skiing Championships in Chile, where he won silver after being narrowly beaten to the gold individual medal by his British teammate! He has also returned with a team bronze medal.

The Girls' Division has been ranked among the best in the country with the publication of the Department for Education's GCSE League Tables! The Girls' Division has placed in the top 100 schools, independent and state, nationally, and has performed well in terms of both the percentage of pupils achieving at least 5 C grades or better at GCSE, including Maths and English, and by English Baccalaureate (EBacc) results.

Head Girl Zoe Stirzacker has achieved her ATCL Diploma in Saxophone. This is a remarkable achievement for someone of her age.

The Year 7 boys enjoyed a fascinating assembly with two visitors from the Octagon Theatre in Bolton, who talked to them about the process of directing a play. They made reference to the Octagon's production of Cinderella, which many of the boys enjoyed watching with School at the end of last term.

Year 9 pupil Anna Phillips has been selected to play on the GMCSFA squad for a match in February.

Two Year 7 pupils also have achieved sporting success. Poppy Donohue has been selected for the U13 Lancashire County Cricket squad, and Alice Leary has been called up to the U13 Greater Manchester Hockey squad!

Th Junior Boys enjoyed a musical morning with Travelling by Tuba. They were whisked around the world, using only music and their imagination to travel from the Swiss Alps to an African river, and far beyond. They were also delighted to be able to play some of the unusual instruments that the musical duo brought into School to show them!

On 26 January at 7pm, Bolton School will host a free event 'In Conversation with Evelyn Glennie'. Click here for further details about this wonderful opportunity to hear from this famous percussionist. Everyone is welcome to come along.

Tickets are now on sale for the Year 8/9 Joint Production of Wonder: a student-devised promenade performance based on R. J. Palacio's international bestseller of the same name. For further details and how to book, click here. The performances will take place 2-4 February at 7.00pm.

A production of When The Eye Has Gone, a play following the tragic decline of former England and Northamptonshire batsman Colin Milburn, will visit Bolton School on Wednesday 1 March 2017 at 7.30pm. Tickets are available to all at a cost of £10, and further details about the show (including how to book) can be found here.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Gill Pearl, an Old Girl who attended from the Junior School to the Sixth From (1967-1977). She has a background as a speech and language therapist and worked for the NHS, but left in 1996 to work in the voluntary sector. Since then, she has become Chief Executive as Speakeasy, a charity supporting people with aphasia, and in 2016 both Speakeasy and Gill herself were recipients of a number of awards. Her profile celebrates her time at Bolton School and offers advice to current pupils for the future.

Friday, 16 December 2016

16 December 2016

As the term drew to a close, the whole of the Foundation prepared for Christmas.

The festivities began with the inaugural Christmas Celebration Concert, held in the Arts Centre and featuring the Friends of Bolton School Choir and a number of school ensembles. This lovely occasion showcased a variety of musical styles and gave plenty of opportunities for the audience to join in with Christmas favourites!

Click here to watch the Friends of Bolton School Choir perform 'Angelicus' at the Christmas Concert, or click here to listen to the whole of the Christmas Concert via the School's SoundCloud.

The Junior Girls held a Winter Warmer Christmas Concert, which brought together all of the elements of the festive season. The girls spoke and sang about decorations, festive foods, Christmas traditions and the story of the Nativity over the course of the concert, to the delight of their parents and families.

The whole of the Junior Girls' Winter Warmer is available to watch online: Part One, Part Two.

The Junior Boys' Carol Service offered a host of musical delights. Well-known carols such as 'Once in Royal David's City' and 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' bookended the evening, with performances from the Lower School, Upper School and Chamber Choirs and the massed voices of all the Junior Boys providing highlights throughout the evening.

Click here to listen to the Junior Boys sing 'Silent Night' in Chinese, French, German and English via the School's SoundCloud.

This year's Ceremony of Carols in the Girls' Division had a literary theme. The festive readings included extracts from from Cider with Rosie and Hamlet, and the Middle School Choir performed a song adapted from a poem by Anne Brontë. The musical pieces were performed beautifully by all of the Choirs, and made for an enchanting evening.

Click here to watch all of the performances recorded at the Ceremony of Carols.

The Boys' Division Christmas Festival was an evening of musical delights from the Choirs and orchestra. The soloists gave great performances and all of the Choirs were in fine voice. Christmas carols played by the orchestra and accompanied by the massed voices of the audience were a wonderful way to celebrate the time of year. Readings and reflections, including a meditation from Rev. Tranter, also recalled the true meaning of Christmas.

Click here to watch all of the performances recorded at the Christmas Festival.

Children in the Butterfly and Caterpillar Rooms at the Nursery put on a wonderful Nativity show for their parents and family members. The children had worked really hard with Nursery staff to learn several songs, which made this a lovely occasion.

The Senior Girls held a Christmas Jumper Day prior to the end of term. They came into School sporting their best festive dress, some even wearing reindeer antlers or tinsel headdresses, to raise money for Save the Children.

The Sixth Form Boys also held a Christmas Jumper Day, filling the Riley Centre and Boys' Division with festive cheer! The boys' efforts supported the Zac Vali Foundation.

As the end of term drew near, the Girls' Division rang with laughter as the Year 10 pupils put on their annual Christmas Post assembly. They then spent the last few days before the end of term selling sweets and cakes, and of course delivering Christmas cards, to raise money for Christies.

Children in the First Steps and Tweenies rooms at the Nursery enjoyed a magical Christmas-themed sing-along with Rhythm Time. They played lots of different percussion instruments and sang along to songs like 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney'. Parents and family members were also invited along to this event, making it all the more enjoyable for everyone.

Year 12 girls met the ambitious target of collecting 1,300 mince pies and 1,300 cartons of brandy or rum sauce for the 'Saucy Mince Pies Challenge' in support of Urban Outreach's Christmas Hampers. The girls had just three and a half weeks to raise funds and collect donations, but were not deterred by the short deadline and managed to pull together enough pies and sauce to fill all of Urban Outreach's hampers this year.

Beech House has once again collected toys for the Bolton Lions Big Christmas Toy Appeal. Parents, pupils and staff at the Infant School donated a mountain of toys to the cause, which will be given to over 1,000 young people in the Bolton community.

The Junior Girls' Winter Warmer concert held a retiring collection for the charity Retrak, which they had also supported earlier in the term. Gill Lee came into School to tell pupils about her recent trip to Ethiopia with the charity, during which the girls' previous fundraising money was spent, and to accept the Christmas donation.

Pupils in Blackburn House in the Boys' Division chose to support The Blackburn Food Bank this term, and in particular around Christmas time. The boys brought in donations of food items, which they handed over to volunteers from the food bank on the last day of term.

Two Junior Boys recently took part in a fencing competition where they defeated stiff competition from seven rival schools to triumph.

The first Boys' Division vs Girls' Division archery competition took place in the final week of term. Archers from both Divisions lined up in the Boys' Division Gym to compete, with both teams making a good effort. The Girls' Division emerged victorious on this occasion. There are plans to make the competition a half-termly event in the School calendar.

Boys' Division pupils in Year 8 were really pleased to meet Tilly, the trainee Guide Dog they sponsored through fundraising efforts last year. The Golden Retriever/German Shepherd cross visited the Riley Centre with her puppy walker, where she met with Year 8 representatives. At the age of 13 months she will go to the Atherton Training Centre to begin her Guide Dog training.

A team of four Boys' Division Sixth Form pupils have made it through to the Area Final of the Bank of England's Target 2.0 challenge! This competition asks students aged 16 to 18 to analyse economic conditions and then set the interest rate to meet the Government's target. They were the clear winners at the Northern Heat and are now looking forward to the next stage of the competition.

Sixth Form pupil Maria Kettle joined the Boys' Division Hockey Team for the first time.

Pupils in Year 12 in both Divisions took part in the Business Challenge Final as the term drew to a close. Four teams went head-to-head, pitching their business plans before a panel of judges in the style of Dragons' Den. The three judges were very impressed with all of the pupils' ideas, but particularly with the overall winners on the night: Tranquillow.

The annual Gymnastics Floor Exercises Final took place on the last day of term. This competition, which sees Year 7 boys compete for a trophy which is over 100 years old, saw the eight finalists perform their gymnastics routines in front of the whole of Year 7, with the P.E. staff as judges.

Three Boys' Division Sixth Form pupils have been selected for the U19 National Water Polo Squad. Also joining them in the squad along is an Old Boy, who plays alongside them at the City of Manchester Water Polo Club.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy Stuart Brooks, CMG OBE, who attended the Boys' Division from 1956 to 1966. He read English at Cambridge, representing his college on University Challenge during his time there. He embarked upon a distinguished career in the Diplomatic Service which saw him travel around the world. His fascinating profile recalls his career highlights, memories of drama at Bolton School, inspirational teaching staff, and some good advice.

Monday, 12 December 2016

9 December 2016

Years 1 and 2 at Beech House, Bolton School's Infant School, began the Christmas celebrations with their traditional Carol Concert. They told the story of the Nativity through a series of beautiful songs, with special treats such as a French carol and soloists singing 'Away in a Manger'.

Not to be out-done, the Reception children also put on their Nativity with great confidence. The children told the Christmas story themselves, interspersed with beautiful singing, acting and dances.

Children at the Nursery enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Party with their families last weekend. This fun-filled event saw them enjoy entertainment and featured a very special visit from Father Christmas!

Boys' Division pupils in Years 8 and 9 were taken on a journey to the summit of Mount Everest by author, documentary filmmaker and adventurer Matt Dickinson. He talked extensively about his experiences on the highest mountain in the world and how climbing Everest has inspired his writing of fiction and non-fiction books.

Almost 900 pupils witnessed the wonders of chemistry in the Boys' Division Great Hall as Bolton School once again hosted the Royal Society of Chemistry's Christmas lecture. Boys' and Girls' Division pupils were joined by children from twenty-one other schools for this special event.

Priya Guhathakurta and Luke Cavanaugh in Year 12 have been selected to join Cowgill Holloway's Future Stars programme. This special work placement scheme which will allow them to experience a variety of departments at the Bolton based accountants and business advisors over the course of this year.

Year 7 pupil Lucy Dixon has won the annual Salford 100s lifesaving competition. She took part in the challenge against sixty-two girls from the Bolton area and came out with the best time following two lifesaving challenges.

Coco Jones in Year 5 has appeared on stage at Manchester Opera House in an adaptation of George's Marvellous Medicine! This is Coco's second theatre role, and she really enjoyed the whole experience.

Girls' Division pupils took advantage of the wonderful deals on offer at the Scholastic Book Fair which was held in the Library this week. They really enjoyed perusing the books and finding something to read.

On 26 January 2017, Bolton School will host 'In Conversation With Evelyn Glennie', a free evening event with this famous solo percussionist which is open to the public. This will be the next in a series of Arts and Sciences lectures organised by the Girls' Division.

This week's Inspiring Mind is Old Boy David Mohyuddin, who is now Vice Chairman of the Governing Body. After leaving Bolton School he read Law and was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1999. His profile recalls his fond memories and inspirational teachers.